The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
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— Peyton Manning continues to remain quiet about his alleged sexual assault and defamatory comments about his accuser, but his critics are getting louder.
A national women’s rights group on Wednesday called for companies to halt their dealings with the Broncos quarterback until more details are known about what happened.
“Nationwide Insurance and Papa John’s Pizza must show their customers that they will never stand for sexual violence — and suspend their relationships with Manning pending further investigation,” UltraViolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary said in a statement.
UltraViolet, which previously called for commissioner Roger Goodell to step down after his initial ruling on the Ray Rice domestic violence incident in 2014, said the league should sideline Manning.
“While it is outrageous that the University of Tennessee chose to turn a blind eye to sexual violence by student athletes like Manning, it would be flat-out unacceptable for the NFL and major companies like Nationwide Insurance and Papa John’s Pizza to continue to stand with Manning in light of emerging evidence,” Chaudhary said in the statement. “The NFL should thoroughly investigate this incident before allowing Manning to play or work in [the] NFL again.”
The company announced Wednesday that it found Pacquiao’s comments “abhorrent” and no longer would do business with him.
Pacquiao, a congressman in his native Philippines who is running for a spot in the Senate, made his comments in a televised interview. In his apology, the evangelical Christian said he still opposes gay marriage but loves all people.
Bob Arum, who is promoting Pacquiao’s April 9 fight against Timothy Bradley, took a stronger stand, saying he is “diametrically opposed” to Pacquiao’s stance. He also compared Pacquiao to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“Instead of promoting a fight with a fighter I’m promoting a fight with a politician,” Arum said. “It’s like if Donald Trump was a boxer and I was promoting Donald Trump when he was running for president. I would be killed by the media for all the stupid statements he is making.”
Wideman appeared to be shaken up after taking a hit in the corner when he skated toward his bench, found linesman Don Henderson in front of him and pushed him to the ice. Despite the suggestion that Wideman might have been concussed, and his later apology to Henderson, Bettman held firm.
“I do not see a basis for a lesser penalty, particularly given the severity of the conduct involved,” Bettman wrote in his decision. “On the other hand, I have the authority to impose a more substantial suspension, and I am troubled by Mr. Wideman’s total failure to accept any responsibility for his actions.
“Indeed, although he made much at the hearing about the apologies he had already made to Mr. Henderson, the sincerity of those apologies rings somewhat hollow given the text message he sent to a teammate on Feb. 2 — after the conclusion of the hearing before Mr. Campbell — that ‘the only problem and the only reason I’m here is cause the stupid refs and stupid media.’ “
Bettman noted that he could have increased the suspension but did not due to Wideman’s “prior exemplary disciplinary record.”
Wideman will appeal the decision to a neutral arbitrator, becoming the first player to do so under the new collective bargaining agreement.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 18, 1930, which Bruins goaltender set an NHL record for most wins in a season when he recorded his 31st with a 3-2 victory over the visiting Canadiens?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m not sure how much an old-school guy can add to the game today. It’s become a young man’s game, especially with all of the technology stuff you’ve got to be involved in. I’m not very good at it. I don’t enjoy it like other people do. I’m not going to sit there today and look at all of these [expletive] numbers and try to predict this guy is going to be a great player. OPS this. OPS that. GPS. LCS’s. DSD’s. You know who has good numbers? Good [expletive] players.” — Mets manager Terry Collins
Mikey and Christian are talking about two of the Red Sox lightning rods, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, and what to hope to get from them this season
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